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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 1695 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #90 on: February 01, 2009, 08:58:23 pm »

must, of necessity, have been an object of ambition; but the scanty records remaining of the society do not enable us to point out any specific cases of intrigue employed for the attainment of it. That of the last Master, hereafter to be mentioned, is somewhat problematic.

The election of a Master of the Temple was as follows:--

When the Master was dead, an event which always occurred in the East, as he was bound to reside there, if it took place in the kingdom of Jerusalem, and the marshal of the order was on the spot, he took upon him the exercise of the vacant dignity till, with the aid of the chapter and of all the bailiffs on this side of the sea (i.e. in the East), he had appointed a great-prior to represent the Master. But this election did not take place till after the funeral. Should the death of the Master have occurred in the province of Tripolis, or that of Antioch, the prior of the province took the direction of the order till the great-prior was appointed.

Owing to the constant state of war which prevailed in the East, and to other causes, a considerable space of time occasionally intervened between the death of one Master and the appointment of his successor. During the interregnum the society was directed by the great-prior who bore the seal of the Master.

When the day appointed for the election was arrived, the great officers of the order and all the bailiffs who were invited to be present assembled in the place selected for holding the election--generally the chapel of the order. The great-prior, taking several of the knights aside, consulted with them; and they then made two or three or more of the knights who were most highly-esteemed retire. The great-prior took the voices of those present on the merits

p. 255

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